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Melatonin works.. but....

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
We have been through the gamut with my 2 year old and sleep.
She has never ever been able to get to sleep~ she just can't turn off, or it takes hours.
After he worst 6 weeks of her life lately we have tried melatonin.
It is freaking amazing stuff!
We have a pedi appt. at the end of the month and an allergist appt. upcoming (she has food and seasonal allergies). All to check on underlying causes.
But my question is about the function of melatonin, how long we can/should use it, dependence (this sin't *her* falling asleep, kwim?).. can someone point me to some resources?

L
post #2 of 41
I can't answer your question, but I am curious what other folks say. I also have a 2 y/o and some days it takes only 30-45 minutes for him to fall asleep. Other nights I've yelled at him after 2 hours because he just. will. not. stop. moving.
post #3 of 41
I can't answer your question either, but I'm curious how much, what brand of melatonin and how you give it. Our DD (2.75) is a terrible sleeper, waking 6-8 times per night, sometimes for 2 hours at a time. Nothing has worked and our attempts at nightweaning were an absolute disaster. But we haven't tried melatonin.
post #4 of 41
oh yes! Please, please, please post what brand and dosage you are using. Our DD, 16 mos. can't fall asleep, can't stay asleep..... We are going crazy. Usually I can accept it, but getting up at 3am EVERY NIGHT (for the rest of the DAY!!!!)has us just bonkers...:

please share!
post #5 of 41
I'd talk to a sleep specialist about it, but my impression is that because it's simply the same hormone your body produces at that time to signal sleep, that it's not addictive, etc. When I've used it for jetlag there is nothing druggy about the feeling at all, it really doesn't feel like anything other than adjusting more quickly to the new time zone.

It's entirely possible that she has some inborn problem with her own melatonin production, which is why it works so well.
post #6 of 41
Melatonin is amazing! I use it for myself. The one thing I would be concerned about is the dosing. I'm sure it would be very difficult to give too much. But I'd still be a little worried about it. As far as becoming addicted.. I don't think you need to worry about that since it is a natural hormone and it is possible that this is something that the body is needing. I would just not give it nightly. I'm sure you'd know best when to give it.
post #7 of 41
I wouldn't feel right using melatonin for my kids unless I was really really desperate. If I did, I'd just use it to reset the kid's schedule. I've taken it myself, only half the recommended dose and it made me feel really crazy. I felt like I never slept. I just closed my eyes and, boom I was asleep. One second later I opened my eyes and didn't feel tired but also didn't feel like I'd been asleep. Just very weird. If your child is truly sleep deprived, it might be worth it though.
post #8 of 41
I once considered using melatonin for my kids because their sleeping patterns were so screwed up, but most of the reading I've done (and a couple of conversations with different doctors) has said that when you start taking melatonin supplements, it inhibits natural production of melatonin, and therefore it should NOT be used in children...because children's melatonin levels are naturally high and supplements may mess up their ability to naturally produce it when they grow older.

I decided against it.
post #9 of 41
I have read it being used by special needs kids who arent able to sleep or wake up in the middle of the night due to hyperactivity. If your child is normal then I too would advise against using it.
post #10 of 41
I agree with the cautionary post above. Just because something is natural doesn't mean it's safe or the best thing for our bodies. I would talk with a naturopath or sleep specialist for sure.
post #11 of 41
Thread Starter 
Those are my concerns:
inhibiting natural production
dependence because her own production drops etc.
natural can still be harmful

Also, I do believe there is an underlying problem with sleep (which is why we are heading to the pedi and hopefully a specialist).
For those asking about dosage~ keep in mind melatonin is not to keep you asleep, just to get you there... we still have the nightwaking for hours, but she can get to sleep int he first placew which cuts our issue in half.
We are using powdered from a capsule, about 0.3mg cut out of a 3 mg capsule dose.

Yes, we are desperate. This kid needs sleep and is completely unable to get there. Unfortunately the wait for specialists etc. is crazy here (we live in Ontario, in the boonies).

We are going to move to intermittent use shortly and see if it has help to either raise levels or reset things (which have always been awry~ thiskid simply quit sleeping at 6 weeks of age and has only slept with HUGE amounts of intervention since then, this is the first we have used ANY chemical).

L
post #12 of 41
Wow, I can't imagine how you are coping. That sounds completely exasperating for both you and your child! I hope you find out what the problem is soon.
post #13 of 41
i have concerns about the safety of melatonin after seeing a study linking melatonin as a sleep aid with increased infertility, since it IS a hormone.

I am also concerned about melatonin because of the fact that its a hormone sold over the counter, and "natural" substances arent regulated. This might get me flamed, but marijuana is "natural" but that doesnt mean im going to give it to my kid.
post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabe View Post
that it's not addictive, etc.
I don't quite agree that it's not addictive. Maybe addictive isn't quite the right word- but I definitely think people can build up a dependency for it.

My sister started giving my niece melatonin when she was 4 or 5- now at 11, she can't go to sleep at all unless she takes two.


Personally, I can't take it. It causes nightmares for me, I feel sick when I wake up the next day, sometimes I'll sleep for exactly four hours with it and then wake up and can't fall back asleep. My grandma and brother can't take it, either.
post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by AGierald View Post
i have concerns about the safety of melatonin after seeing a study linking melatonin as a sleep aid with increased infertility, since it IS a hormone.
If this was online, can you link to it? I'm interested in learning more about this. I just finished a book that touched on how nursing delays ovulation in primates, and the author pointed out that it was nighttime nursing that made the biggest difference. She mentioned melatonin being a factor in this.
post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brisen View Post
If this was online, can you link to it? I'm interested in learning more about this. I just finished a book that touched on how nursing delays ovulation in primates, and the author pointed out that it was nighttime nursing that made the biggest difference. She mentioned melatonin being a factor in this.
:
Could you please name the book...I would like to read it. I remember back in India my Mom used to tell that a child should never be nursed beyond 2 years of age bcoz milk starts to get toxic or something!!! Now pls dont quote me on that, Its probably a myth or something. I have no idea where they come up with this but your message on delayed ovulation makes me want to wonder whether there is a time limit we should keep when we nurse our kids.
post #17 of 41
I used it for DS who just couldn't stay asleep. Ever. Had never slept the night at 4 years old. We used it a lot for a few months, and by golly it worked. It needed to be a high dose like they used in special needs children....3-5 tablets a night (we like GNC's 1mg tablets that are cherry flavored and dissolve in the mouth). Something about it knocked off the old schedule and habits, and he finally started sleeping more normally. Occasionally through the night. He does still wake sometimes now, but usually only once and he can often just go to the bathroom himself and go back to bed, or come sleep in our room. It made all the difference in the world. We don't use it anymore, except when schedules have been knocked off, etc. I've taken it on occasion and it doesn't bother me at all, just kind of helps my mind shut off and I fall asleep. I say if you need to try it temporarily, then by all means do. I wouldn't however look at it as a permanent thing, you know?

I also wanted to add there is a child's version of Calms Forte that came be helpful as well! It's homeopathic.
post #18 of 41
Thread Starter 
Good to hear it helped set him in a better pattern. that is our hope ~ short term to kick start a better habit. I appreciate all the points of view and info
post #19 of 41
Have you tried any other homepaths such as Bach flower remedies? Chamomille tea? Calm's forte? Is there a chance your LO is defficient (sp?) in magnesium, which is essential and messes with sleep a lot ---? B vitamins? D vitamin (sunlight delivers this but some people's bodies don't process or convert it very well) If she has food allergies she may be lacking in some nutrients -- even toddlers without allergies are lacking in certain vitamins/minerals more often than not (due to several factors, even if parents provide a healthy diet!)...

I would stop the melatonin --- that is very strong stuff, even if it is *natural* and whatnot and look into other possible defficiencies (sp?!). I would go to a nutritionist that does both wet and dry blood analysis and to a homeopath first.

Almost every issue can be treated with homeopaths and nutrition. Good luck
post #20 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ananas View Post
I don't quite agree that it's not addictive. Maybe addictive isn't quite the right word- but I definitely think people can build up a dependency for it.

My sister started giving my niece melatonin when she was 4 or 5- now at 11, she can't go to sleep at all unless she takes two.
WOAH! That's some seriously heavy use. I was thinking more along the lines of taking it for a whole week or a month and being worried about addiction, not daily for six or seven YEARS! That'd mess anyone up!

Quote:
If this was online, can you link to it? I'm interested in learning more about this. I just finished a book that touched on how nursing delays ovulation in primates, and the author pointed out that it was nighttime nursing that made the biggest difference. She mentioned melatonin being a factor in this.
Melatonin helps regulate the release of many female hormones. BRB with a ref

Man, there is a LOT of research out there, and I'm tired. So far I have it inhibiting GnRH, I know from previous research that LH surges are on a circadian cycle (and hence melatonin affected), it increases the amplitude of prolactin pulses.

Quote:
Could you please name the book...I would like to read it. I remember back in India my Mom used to tell that a child should never be nursed beyond 2 years of age bcoz milk starts to get toxic or something!!! Now pls dont quote me on that, Its probably a myth or something. I have no idea where they come up with this but your message on delayed ovulation makes me want to wonder whether there is a time limit we should keep when we nurse our kids.
Delayed ovulation is a GOOD thing - protects against breast and ovarian cancer. Not to mention that by 18 months the majority of women have their periods back despite still nursing.
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